The Best Home Security PINs

Is your home security PIN easy to guess? With four digits you have exactly 10,000 choices — and some are stronger than others. This article suggests do’s and don’ts for personal identification numbers.

Security PIN Don’ts

The best home security PINs are easy for you to remember yet difficult for others to guess. Therefore the worst PINs are 1) common or 2) easy to guess with research about your household. Here are examples of PINs to avoid.

  • The Default PIN: Your home security system might have a default PIN. Do not keep this code! Replace a default PIN as soon as possible.
  • Your Usual PIN: Don’t use the same PIN in different places. Using the same PIN for bank cards and your alarm system, for example, increases your vulnerability.
  • Patterns: Avoid choosing PINs with common number patterns such as 1234, 2222 and 2468. These sorts of PINs are very common and relatively easy to guess with sheer luck. (Don’t try to get clever with pi either; 3141 is a popular PIN too.) Also avoid physical patterns that simply move across or down the keypad, such as 2580.
  • Address and Phone: Don’t use part of your address or phone number when setting your PIN. For example, if your phone number is 867-5309, then “5309” would be a not-so-secure PIN.
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries: A criminal can easily research the dates of importance to you and your family members. Therefore don’t use birthday numbers or a wedding anniversary date as a PIN.
  • Years: It’s wise to avoid any PIN that starts with 19 or 20, such as 1968 or 2017, because criminals have found that these PINs are rather common. Also avoid using years that have historical significance such as 1776.

Security PIN Do’s

With so many don’ts, what’s left? Here are tips for choosing a home security PIN that’s memorable but can’t easily be compromised.

  • Start with a Digit 2-9. The best home security PINs start with a digit from 2 through 9. These are much less common than PINs starting with 1.
  • Space Your Numbers. People tend to choose PIN digits that are adjacent to each other on a security keypad. Make your PIN harder to guess by choosing digits that are more distant from each other. For example, 4917 is more difficult to guess compared with 4569.
  • Use Letters. Use letters instead of numbers to remember your home security code. For example, the phrase “A Very Fine House” is abbreviated AVFH. On a security keypad the corresponding digits are 2834.

Extra Security PIN Tips

For extra PIN security, be sure that your alarm control panel isn’t in view of prowlers, including prowlers with binoculars.

Be sure to clear your fingerprints or other signs of control pad wear. If you leave prints on a touchscreen control panel, you could make it easy for an intruder to narrow down the possibilities for your PIN. With pushbutton control panels, occasionally changing your PIN can help ensure that all the buttons wear evenly.